On a warm, sunny, Friday afternoon before Labour Day in Wangaratta is usually spent on the lawn, eating fresh fruit from the local farms and kicking the footy around.
This year, however, the students of Wangaratta High School were treated to a workshop from English saxophone superstar, YolanDa Brown, and her band.
YolanDa’s workshop covered a variety of music-making techniques, including: democratic music making, call-and-response improvisation, playing inside a groove, and much more. YolanDa’s unique approach to music is very much ‘no stone unturned’; there’s adventure, lyricism, technique, and an almost endless palette of styles present in her music and arrangements.
The students were smiling throughout the entire presentation, thoroughly engaged with the content and eager to play their instruments at every opportunity. This is particularly impressive as most of the students had NEVER improvised before, which can often make young musicians incredibly anxious, or extremely liberated. The students all did a fantastic job, and sounded great! YolanDa coached all the students through this process with her incredible expertise and passion for creativity.
Yamaha Music Australia would again like to thank YolanDa and her ensemble for a wonderful experience, and the students of Wangaratta High School for their attentiveness, zeal, and participation in the workshop.